Graphic Novel (Guest) Review 68/365: Amulet – Scholastic Week!

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days!

One of the things that I like to do in my classroom is give students, when possible, real-life assessment opportunities.  Late this last school week, I offered up guest Scholastic Week reviews as assessments to my students.  Two of them took me up on the offer, and we quickly got to work reading, writing, and editing book reviews.  Today, I’m featuring a review of Kazu Kibuishi’s amazing Amulet, reviewed by Damekeo M.

He started reading the book on Wednesday, got me a rough draft on Friday, and we made last minute edits today.  It’s shorter than other assessments that I have offered, so he will also have to write a reflection letter about his process as part of his grade, but it has been fun, and I know raising the stakes with real-life writing with a real-life audience crates conversations and an editing process that feels authentic, never forced, and timely.

Title: Amulet  

Author(s): Kazu Kibuishi

Publisher: Scholastic (2008 Book.1)

Age Rating: 10+

I’m proud to present Damekeo M.’s review of Amulet:

I’ve recently read the graphic novel Amulet, by Kazu Kibuishi.  If you’re interested in magical and dangerous adventures, don’t hesitate to give this book a look.

Amulet is about a very mature and heroic little girl, named Emily, and her family.  She has a younger brother, Navin, and lives with her mother. Sadly her family suffered the loss of their beloved father and husband who died in a car accident.  At the scene of the accident Emily was very young, but this didn’t stop her from doing everything she could to try and save her father.  Unfortunately her all wasn’t enough.  Some time went by and her mother decided to move into her long lost great grandfather’s house to “start a new life.”  Emily was not to fond of the idea.  Rumors spread around town that the house, which they are moving into, is haunted.  Immediately, everyone feels uncomfortable in the new house.  As the mother cleans and the children explore the new house, Emily discovers a room that used to belong to her great grandfather, Silas Charnon.  Silas was a very creative person who made puzzles for a living, although, they were no ordinary puzzles.  During Emily’s exploration of the room, she discovers a compartment that contains an Amulet.  Emily wears the Amulet not knowing its great power or its purpose, but she will soon find out.

My favorite character in the book is Emily. She is my favorite because although she is young, she is very courageous, intelligent, and caring. Throughout the book she shows lots of love for her family and will do anything to keep them safe.

Kibuishi is a great artist as well as writer; he did both the art and writing for this book.  He uses smooth dark colors to compliment the scary tone in the book, keeping the readers on the edge of their seats.  There are scary scenes in the book because of the big nasty man eating creatures.  And although there are some scenes that are thrilling, I’ll rank this book in the 10+ category because the dialogue is appropriate, and the actions of the creatures are not too hair-raising.

I’d categorize this book as science fiction/fantasy because of the make believe creatures and the space-like equipment and crafts they use.  Like seriously, there is a pink talking bunny!  The book is super fun and creative and kept me awake while reading.

-Meek

I’d like to thank Meek for his review.  He loved the book, and he’s looking to read the rest of the Amulet books that our school library carries!  Tomorrow, I will have another student review, so make sure you check back tomorrow for more student input and analysis.

Eric

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